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Editorial: Drop In Unemployment Figures Shows Policies Are Working

Editorial: Drop In Unemployment Figures Shows Policies Are Working
August 11
11:30 2017

The latest unemployment statistics released by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics give us reason to hope and be confident about the future.

They show that unemployment in Fiji has dropped to its lowest level in 15 years.

They also vindicate the FijiFirst Government’s deliberate policies to create the environment that is conducive to job creation.

It means that these policies are working. They do take time to show results but when they do we can see the outcomes.

It means more people get out of the unemployment queue into jobs. It also means more investment and a stronger economy. It’s a good position to be in.

Creating the right kind of environment involves a number of things to happen. One is the building of infrastructure, roads, bridges, electricity, water, housing, health and education.

If we analyse the FijiFirst Government’s focus, the emphasis is on the above areas. They form the foundation of national development.

Agriculture can expand into commercial ventures if the location of the projects are accessible by good roads and bridges.

Any business can flourish and expand if it also has the supportive infrastructure like power, water, housing, experienced and skilled workforce and incentives like friendly laws that make doing business easier.

The relentless pursuit of higher education is helping to fill a need for professionals who will lead from the front and drive our economy forward.

They are the ideas people who will be in the forefront of research and innovation.

They will help the Government of the day write new policies that will be a catalyst to real and positive change.

They will also build a cadre of intellectuals and highly qualified people who will help the country grow and meet its challenges.

To top it off, we need peace and political stability. Investors will not invest money in a politically unstable environment because of the high risks. We are all familiar with the political turmoil caused by the 1987 and 2000 coups.

In a number of ways, we are still rebuilding after the devastation caused by those political upheavals. Confidence has returned and we are looking forward to the future.

It’s a constant reminder that we cannot afford a repeat of the terrible events that characterised that dark past.

Our 2013 Constitution has addressed it by embracing universal principles and the best internationally accepted standards and practices.

It has created the climate where we recognise that despite our diversity in culture, religion and ethnicity we are one people and one nation because we are all called Fijians and we don’t believe in segregation and discrimination.

The Constitution points us to the direction that the way forward is the peaceful and democratic way.

It was restored in 2014 when we went to the polls and elected FijiFirst as the first Government in this new journey of hope, peace, freedom and progress.

There are several indicators that tell us that we are moving in the right direction. The big one is that we have achieved eight consecutive years of economic growth.

The second one is the falling unemployment rate. There’s not enough space to list more here but it is suffice to note that we are certainly on a roll.

Of course there is still a lot to be done and some people point to the slow rehabilitation progress in some areas after Tropical Cyclone Winston.

It may be slow but sure.


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